Canada Day Contest at the Pemigewasset

Judy and I rode our bikes down to the Pemi today. It was an incredible summer day… perfect. I operated the Canada Day contest and made a dozen nice QSOs including Panama.

We headed north along the old road and stopped at a bend in the river about a mile upstream. A nice breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay. The edge of the road was strewn with wildflowers. Here’s a yarrow plant that grew next to me as I operated.

The river was unusually full from recent rains.

I tossed a 30 foot wire over a pine branch and sat down at the edge of the road. I set up the KX3 and operated exclusively on 20 meters.

The band was surprisingly good given the recent conditions. There was a lot of activity in the Canada Day contest. Here’s my log. I only operated for 15 minutes:

1 Jul-19 2042 14.019 VE1AYY CW 599 599 NS
1 Jul-19 2044 14.024 W7F CW 599 599 AZ
1 Jul-19 0247 14.029 VE3CX CW 599 599 Ont
1 Jul-19 2048 14.037 K8JQ CW 599 599 WV
1 Jul-19 2050 14.038 N8AA CW 599 599 OH
1 Jul-19 2051 14.041 W4PM CW 599 599 VA
1 Jul-19 2052 14.049 WA0MHJ CW 599 599 MN
1 Jul-19 2054 14.043 K2J CW 599 599 NC
1 Jul-19 2055 14.034 VE5MX CW 599 599 SK
1 Jul-19 2057 14.021 K3KU CW 599 599 MD
1 Jul-19 2058 14.014 HP3SS W 599 599 Panama

K2J wasn’t in the contest. This is a designated station in the 13 colonies event.

It’s hard to believe it’s already July. Tomorrow Judy and I are heading to the seashore. I’ll bring the rig.

QRP from the Lifeguard’s Chair

Tim W3ATB and I went to Ellacoya State Park in Gilford New Hampshire today. He did a Parks on the Air activation… I sat in the lifeguard’s chair and worked France!

The beach is on Lake Winnipesaukee with a gorgeous, expansive view of the surrounding mountains. I saw this lifeguard’s chair and I couldn’t resist. It was under a huge pine tree. So while Tim was 30 yards away working stations for his POTA activation, I heaved a line into a pine tree above the orange high seat.

As soon as I turned on the KX3, I heard Bert F6HKA in France finishing up a QSO. What a hoot! He came back and gave me a 549. I was thrilled.

I called over to Tim and he worked Bert right after I did. I dismantled my station and went over to Tim’s picnic table to help out if I could. We had a lovely picnic lunch at the park and Tim made his ten contacts for the POTA activation.

P.S. Thanks to Tim for the great photos. His account of the outing is here:

February at Potter Place

Dave K1SWL, Tim W3ATB and I met for lunch and then went to operate at the old rail station in Potter Place. I worked 8 stations including Belgium, Portugal, Spain and France.

I set up the KX3 under the eaves of the station on an old luggage box. I tossed my antenna line over the semaphore signals attached to the station. (See the last photo.) The place was covered with snow, and it was 43F.

I started off working Joe W1FYL at a campsite in Kissimmee, Florida. We had a nice chat then I tuned down the band. The DX was surprising. Here’s my log:

15 Feb-18 1818 14.043 W1FYL CW 599 599 FL
15 Feb-18 1859 14.008 ON4UN CW 579 599 Belgium
15 Feb-18 1902 14.010 CS0RCL CW 599 599 Portugal
15 Feb-18 1903 14.012 EA8URT CW 599 599 Spain
15 Feb-18 1905 14.022 EA5KV CW 599 599 Spain
15 Feb-18 1914 10.112 F5NTV CW 599 599 France
15 Feb-18 1915 10.116 N2CX CW 579 559 NJ

Meanwhile Tim had tangled his line in a maple tree above the picnic table across from the station. His water bottle dangled from a branch just out of our reach. It was a three stooges movie in progress as we struggled to retrieve the bottle. We borrowed a garbage can from the station and turned it upside down. Dave had a shovel in the back of his truck and Tim (standing on the upside-down garbage can) managed to snag the errant bottle with the shovel. But not before previous efforts failed with me sitting on his shoulders. (Fortunately not captured on camera.)

Tim and Dave worked half a dozen stations including Joe N2CX who was at Fort Mott in New Jersey doing a park activation.

DX from Rye Beach (QRP)

Judy and I drove over to the beach today to escape the heat. It was almost 90F here. I worked Italy, Finland, Hungary, Cuba and California from the shore.

What a fantastic day… and the drive paid off. It was nearly 10 degrees cooler at the beach with a nice breeze. We had lunch, rode our bikes and then Judy took a swim… while I set up the KX3 and a 30 foot wire.

I extended a DK9SQ 33 foot mast and attached the wire to the tip. Then I rised the mast and tied it to corner of a bench overlooking the harbor. Voila… I had a station. 17 meters was excellent from the beach, and I made 4 of my 6 contacts there. Here’s my log:

25 Sep-17 1920 18.076 CO8LY CW 599 599 Cuba
25 Sep-17 1922 18.082 IK3VUT CW 559 599 Italy
25 Sep-17 1928 18.085 IK5ZWU CW 559 599 Italy
25 Sep-17 1940 14.034 OH6NVC CW 559 579 Finland
25 Sep-17 1945 14.025 HA8VV CW 589 589 Hungary
25 Sep-17 1950 18.080 N6UOE CW 579 599 CA

Before heading home, we decided to take another bike ride. We went to a little laneway on the other side of the harbor. I got a snapshot of my operating position from there.

Early Fall Along the Pemigewasset River

Judy and I rode our bikes along the Pemigewasset River today. It was a beautiful, beautiful day. I worked Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland, and Hungary.

We rode south from Old Hill and stopped at the old bridge to Sanbornton. It was nearly 80F with an unbelievable stillness in the air. Brown, curled-up leaves covered parts of the old road and crunched beneath our bike wheels. The apple trees along the way have begun dropping fruit. Judy stopped to pick up some apples. The road was lined with asters.

I stopped at a huge pine tree a couple of miles down the road. I tossed my wire nearly 40 feet over a branch and sat on some moss. I used the KX3 and a 33 foot wire.

The bands were good. I worked eight stations. Here’s my log:

23 Sep-17 1935 14.014 LZ100SK CW 599 599 Bulgaria
23 Sep-17 1943 18.086 IK5ZWU CW 439 579 Italy
23 Sep-17 1947 14.019 HB0/DL5YL CW 559 589 Switzerland
23 Sep-17 1950 14.028 HA60KNA CW 579 599 Hungary
23 Sep-17 1955 14.030 W5FMH CW 599 599 TX
23 Sep-17 1957 14.032 VE4RAC CW 599 599 MB
23 Sep-17 2002 10.117 W8IX CW 549 599 IND

Today was a perfect day for getting outside and making a few radio contacts. At this time of year, I can count the days like this on one hand. I wish they would never end.

St. Pierre & Miquelon from Rattlesnake Mtn

Judy and I hiked up Rattlesnake Mountain overlooking Squam Lake this afternoon. It was gorgeous! And… I worked St. Pierre and Miquelon, Belgium and Florida.

The hike is pretty simple… about 40 minutes. Huge rock ledges cap the peak at about 500 feet above the lake. It was sunny and about 72F. A perfect day for an outing.

I set up on a northern ledge and tossed my line into a stubby pine tree that was about 25 feet above the rock. I had a sloper.

I started out on 30 meters and heard FP/G3ZAY on St. Pierre and Miquelon. These two French islands sit off the coast of Newfoundland… a favorite for small dxpeditions. I was thrilled to work them from Rattlesnake Mtn. because I’d been trying unsuccessfully for a couple of days from home. We exchanged quick 599s and I switched to 20 meters.

As I tuned across the band I heard Bernie KB4JR calling CQ from Florida. He gave me a 559 and we chatted for a few minutes before signing. A little farther down the band John ON4UN was calling CQ from Belgium. He was strong as always and we had a quick exchange. I told him I was QRP on a mountain top and he wished me well.

Judy and I had a snack before packing up. Judy got a quick photo as I enjoyed the view a final time before heading down.

Early Fall QRP on the Pemigewasset

There is a certain fragrance. The colors are shifting. The air is still except for the sound of crickets. It’s early fall on the Pemi. I stop at a bend in the dirt road and check out the giant pine tree for antenna possibilities.

I toss a line over an arching branch and pull up my 33 foot wire. I set up the KX3 on 20 meters. Now the sound of Morse mingles with the sound of crickets. Stations from Washington operating in the Salmon Run event are calling CQ.

I work six stations in a row and then switch to 30 meters. I call Jerry WA4FQN in TN. He gives me a 559 signal report and we chat for a while. Here’s my log:

17 Sep-17 1908 14.045 W7LKG CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1910 14.045 K7GS CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1911 14.052 N7KE CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1912 14.047 W7VXS CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1913 14.047 WC7Q CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1927 14.041 K7RI CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1928 10.121 WA4FQN CW 559 599 TN Jerry

You cannot imagine how precious these days are. They are the fleeting days of warm weather in New Hampshire. The hills and valleys soon turn to gold and orange and red. We are in a twilight zone before the cold of winter. The world is ours…. for a while.

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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor